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2020 Census Timeline of Important Milestones

The count is now complete, and the U.S. Census Bureau is processing the data, making sure that everyone is counted once, only once, and in the right place. Here's a look at some of the key dates:


  • January — September: The Census Bureau opened more than 200 area census offices across the country. These offices supported and managed the census takers who worked all over the country to conduct the census.
  • August — October: Census workers visited areas that have experienced a lot of change and growth to ensure that the Census Bureau's address list is up to date. This process is called address canvassing, and it helped in making sure everyone received an invitation to participate in the census.


  • January 21: The Census Bureau started counting the population in remote Alaska. The count officially began in the rural Alaskan village of Toksook Bay.
  • March 12: The Census Bureau opened its phone lines and online self-response tool, allowing the public to begin submitting responses to the 2020 Census. Households began receiving official Census Bureau mail inviting them to respond to the 2020 Census online, by phone, or by mail. Additional reminders were sent throughout the summer.
  • April 1: Census Day was observed nationwide. By this date, most households had received an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census. Once the invitation arrived, people responded for their home in one of three ways: online, by phone, or by mail. When they responded, they told the Census Bureau where they lived as of April 1, 2020.


  • April 26: The Census Bureau released 2020 Census apportionment results, the first results for the 2020 Census. On the same day, the Census Bureau also released operational quality metrics comparing the census results to other population benchmarks as well as a variety of operational quality metrics.
  • May 28: The Census Bureau released additional operational quality metrics on the 2020 Census. These metrics provide further insight into how housing units were enumerated and include information on occupied and vacant housing units and the size of occupied units.
  • August 12: States received the data they may use to begin redistricting. The Census Bureau also shared this information with the public. However, the data is in a format that requires additional handling and software to extract familiar tables. COVID-19-related delays and prioritizing the delivery of the apportionment results delayed our original redistricting data delivery plan.
  • September 16: The Census Bureau delivered the final redistricting data toolkit to all states and the public. This included digital tools that provide access to an integrated software browsing tool for official recipients, as well access to the online Data Explorer tool for both official recipients and the public.

2022 and Beyond

  • March 10, 2022: The Census Bureau released the initial results from the 2020 Post-Enumeration Survey (PES) program to measure coverage error in the 2020 Census. The first release provides estimates of population coverage overall and for important demographic groups for the nation.
  • May 31, 2022: The Census Bureau began the 2020 Post-Census Group Quarters Review (PCGQR) as a one-time operation for governmental units in the United States and Puerto Rico to request that the U.S. Census Bureau review the population counts of group quarters they believe were not correctly counted as of April 1, 2020. This operation was created in response to public feedback received on the Count Question Resolution operation about counting group quarters’ populations during the unprecedented challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The Census Bureau plans to release additional 2020 Census results. Learn more on the About 2020 Census Data Products page.
  • The Census Bureau will also continue to evaluate the quality of the 2020 Census. Learn more on the 2020 Census Data Quality page.

Related Information

Page Last Revised - May 31, 2022
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